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and i'm ready in case something occurs to me. >> you mentioned merle travis influenced you on your guitar playing style. what other musicians were inflewses on you? -- influences on you? >> rod cruder is still my favorite guitar player, although there are many, many to choose from. there's an album of his called paradise and lunch which was such a, you know, so formative for me. there was a guy when i was coming up named tom rush who played here at the cellar door, and he played in boston at the 47. he was, i really patterned myself after tom. just a guy with a guitar, folk musician, unapologetic folk musician. and i'd say those two and the beatles. >> what do you think of current pop music? [laughter]
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>> you know, i, i guess i don't like it a whole lot. [laughter] i think i'm -- [laughter] [applause] >> what would we find -- >> i sound just like my dad. [laughter] just like my dad. there is some, there are great people out there, i know it. and i don't mean to condemn it, blanket condemn it. but, you know, it seem -- i think it's passed me by a little bit. the sort of, i feel i have a wonderful career and a beautiful audience that i really, i really love. but, you know, the spotlight is on, is elsewhere now, and i'm a sort of known quantity now. and that's fine with me to sort of play out this hand. you know, i -- but i don't, i don't pay a whole lot of
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attention to -- i never did listen much to the radio, you know? when i was a kid, i was really young i did, but, you know, i don't listen to music much. kim works with the boston symphony and, therefore, we get a lot of classical music in the house. i have two 11-year-old -- kim and i have 11-year-old twin boys, and they have their preferences. maybe it's because they're playing most of the popular music i'm hearing in the house identify got such a negative take on it. [laughter] >> do you have an ipod? >> not an ipod, no. ipad. >> ipad? >> do you have music selections on there? >> no. no, i don't listen to my music on computerrer really. computer really. i listen on cd and vinyl. [laughter] >> so it's said that singer taylor swift is named after you. what do you think of her music? >> i do like her music. >> she's got a great name? >> yes, i like the name too.
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[laughter] i do think she is a creative singer/songwriter, you know? she's a remarkable sort of marketing phenomenon, and if she can survive that, and i mean it. it's a hard thing to survive, i think. um, but she seems to have a very clear head on her shoulders, and i think if anyone can, she can make it through and continue to evolve as an artist. because it's, the sort of marketing hit is if you're lucky enough to be successful, that's, that particular passage that an artist has to make if he's lucky enough or she's lucky enough is, it can be a real jarring, life-changing event. it can really shake you up, you know? going from being very private to very public. >> many people have said that daniel day lewis' portrayal of lincoln in the current film
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reminds them of you. [laughter] do you have any comment on that? and i hear you, i hear you've seen the movie. >> i have seen the movie. doesn't look like me to me, but i live in the here, you know? [laughter] i live in here, so i'm apt to notice the difference, you know? you know, john williams who is a dear friend and this generation's remarkable musician, orchestral musician and composer, john wanted me to play that part. he actually stood up for me there, suggested me at one point. it was never going to happen -- [laughter] so i don't know. of i'm flattered. of course, everybody loves lincoln. i do. but i don't see other than the fact that we're both tall and somewhat skinny -- [laughter]
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he speaks much better in public than i do. [laughter] >> is there a role you would like to play? >> no. no, this is fine. [laughter] this is fine. it's very, it is very unusual. i've spent my life being myself for a living. [laughter] and i think more than really, more than anyone else i think i know that i, i think there are performers who develop and assume a character that they then play for the public. but i don't know anyone who is as much themselves publicly for a living as i am. so it's been an interesting ride. it's been -- but i don't think i'm qualified to really understand it. no. >> okay. several people sent this question up, so i feel obligated to ask. do you know who carly simon was singing about in "you're so
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vain"? laugh and will you share that with us? >> i think it's warren beatty. >> and he says not. [laughter] >> okay, so that's, that's what my information was. again, that information has not been updated for 40 years. [laughter] [applause] >> many now that the -- now that the turnpike from boston extends past the city to the airport thanks to the big dig, any thoughts about revising the song? [laughter] >> oh, you mean the turnpike no longer ends in boston, it goes all the way to somerset? no. quincy? what town is the airport in? stock ridge to chelsea. that's got a ring to it. [laughter] but it doesn't rhyme with frosting. [laughter] see, that's the thing, is the internal rhyme. [laughter] no.
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that song has four rhyming schemes going at once. first of december's covered with snow, so is the turnpike from stock ridge to boston. 10,000 miles behind me, 10 more to go to rhyme with snow. so it's got to be boston. [laughter] unless they take it to austin, texas. [laughter] [applause] >> i want to thank all of you for joining us this afternoon. this has been absolutely terrific. and i want to remind you of our next, upcoming lunch. on december 18th we have leon panetta, the secretary of the u.s. department of defense. i'm sure if you have some advice on how to solve the fiscal cliff, he'd be happy to hear that. and while you're writing your next song, i'd like to present you with our famous press club coffee mug. i think that will go well with your song writing and guitar
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playing. it might give you some inspiration. >> thank you so much. thank you. [applause] >> o so thank all of you for coming today. i want to thank the staff including our journalism institute and broadcast center for organizing today's event, and a reminder you can find more information at, and i was wondering if you had one last song that perhaps you'd like to sing us out on. [cheers and applause] you look like you got -- >> you want to sing? >> come on up. >> can she borrow your stool? [applause] this is my wife, kim. [applause] and here's the song we sing, the song that we sing to our, to our twin boys. actually, about two years ago we
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went in to sing them to sleep with this lullaby, and we got the guitar out, sat down on the side of the bed and were about to -- played the opening chords, and rufus looked up at me and said, you know, dad, we don't have to do this anymore. [laughter] ♪ ♪ oh, sun is surely sinking down, but the moon is slowly rising. ♪ so this old world must still be spinning round, and i still love you.
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♪ when you close your eyes, you can close your eyes, it's all right. ♪ i don't know no love songs, i can't sing the -- [inaudible] anymore. ♪ but i can sing this song, oh, and you can sing this song when i'm gone gnash -- when i'm gone. ♪ no, it won't be long before another day, darling, we're going to have a good time. ♪ and no one's going to take them away, you can stay as long
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as you like. ♪ only close your eyes, you can close your eyes, it's all right. ♪ and though i don't know no love songs, i can't sing the blues anymore. ♪ sure, but i can sing in the song, and you can sing this song when i'm gone ♪ >> she's a game gal. [laughter] [applause]
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good-bye with. thank you very much. [cheers and applause] [cheers and applause] >> booktv is in prime time this weekend on c-span2. starting tonight at 8 eastern with david talbot on the history of san francisco from 1967 to 1982. at 8:55 elizabeth dowling taylor on the life of white house slave paul jennings and his eventual freedom in 1847.
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at 9:50 chandra manning discusses the reasons why americans fought the civil war. and at 10:15, arthur herman on how fdr brought business leaders across the country to mobilize for world war ii. >> now, some of a washington post conference on women in leadership. we'll hear from andrea mitchell of nbc news, white house deputy chief of staff nancy-ann deparle, and the president of polytechnic institute. >> nancy-ann deparle, how are you? welcome. >> thanks. >> here we go. and dr. shirley ann jackson. and andrea mitchell. who's probably been working since fife this morning -- since five this morning too. >> how are you? >> i bet you every single person here has been up since five. >> i dressed based on what
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andrea had on. >> you saw her on tv, and then you said, oh -- that was clever. you're not a rhodes scholar for anything. [laughter] >> wow. >> 4:30 wakeup for morning joe. >> with oh, my gosh. so you get up at 4:30 every day -- >> not every day. >> many days. >> what time do you get up, shirley? >> 4:30 to 5. >> i'm the late riser, 5 to 5:30. >> and then you work, how late do you work straight through? typically. i guess every day is different. >> when you're doing the today program, you have to be there, the last one out at night. especially secretary clinton is traveling right now, so there were late developments and early developments as well. so i'm there til 10 or 11. >> wow. >> and, you know, i can go out and get something to eat and come back. >> so for the two people in america that don't know andrea mitchell -- [laughter] i want to introduce her. of she's nbc's chief foreign affairs correspondent. she has her own show on nbc, he
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covers foreign policy, intelligence and national security for the network. she's one of the most respected and hardest working journalists in america, and we're delighted that she's here. >> thank you for that. >> and next to her is shirley ann jackson, she's the president of polytechnical institute and the very first african-american woman to run a top research or university. among the many, many firsts, she has 51 honorary degrees, she's been the first of everything, ran the national science foundation, she was the -- >> nuclear regulatory commission. >> nuclear regulatory commission. and she was the very first black woman to get a ph.d. at mit. amazing. [applause] nancy-ann deparle is assistant to the president and the deputy chief of staff for the executive office of the white house. she's an expert in medicare and medicaid and all things health. she's been called the health czar of america, the point guard overhauling the american health care system. how about that for a job?
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>> there you go. >> what a powerhouse right here. [applause] so we, actually, have a lot of brain power up here right now. [laughter] and i wonder, all of you could have done very different things. you really had a lot of choices. so i'd just love to hear you about how you ended up picking what you did. who wants to start? >> you have the -- >> no. >> i'm a failed violinist. of laugh -- [laughter] i was raised to be a musician, and my mother still asks me what happened. [laughter] but i was always interested in politics and in writing stories for the school paper and then kind of heard -- it actually was with complete serendipity. i was in college at the university of pennsylvania and was at a meeting of the naacp, actually. we had some big issues. this was the '60s.
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and heard music down corridor, and it was the college radio station which was programming classical music. and i was just drawn to it. and pitched in and began programming classical music, and then they needed someone to help with the news. and i'd always been passionate about politics. i think everyone back in my era was as well, all of the college students were. it was the height of the civil rights movement, the vietnam war. there were so many issues to become engaged in. so i started moving up the ladder at the college radio station, interned at a local all-news radio station, and that was the end of the violin. [laughter] >> and then you just kept working at it and loved it? >> it wasn't quite that simple. [laughter] it was in a day when they simply did not hire women for newsroom jobs in broadcasting. period. there were a few anchor women, there were a few weather women,
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there were just not average, run of the mill, general assignment reporters, and i was told they weren't about to do it at this radio station, and i could go into advertising or promotion. i was accepted in the corporate management trainee program actually. and i said hire me as a copy boy, which was what -- >> they called them. >> this is predigital. it was back in the days of film and television, and it was a very different era. and so they gave me the midnight to eight shift and said if i proved myself there where no one would see me, then maybe they would consider promotions, and i worked my way up to becoming a reporter. i don't know about your experience as well, i'm sure that there were far more barriers to you, especially in the science and engineering side. >> shirley? yeah. >> well, i actually grew up here, for the students from eastern high school. >> valedictorian from our local washington, d.c. theodore
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roosevelt school. [applause] >> yeah, my story's a little different. i collected live bumblebees. [laughter] >> how old were you when you started doing that? >> probably around 10. and so we had a crawlspace under our parents' back porch. so i used to keep jars of bees. and i used to do little experiments with them. [laughter] with how they, what i fed them and putting them in with other kind of like and unlike insects. [laughter] and keeping a very asinge yous log. but then i sort of discovered math, and, you know, i was pretty good. [laughter] so i went to mit. [laughter] >> of course. >> i took a physics course when i was a freshman from an englishman. his name was tony french. and i kind of fell in love with that. and i started an electrical
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engineering -- in electrical engineering, but then i took, and this is going to sound cerebral, but then i took a subject called automechanics, and i loved it. i was listening to secretary saw lease about her being told that she wasn't college material. well, i was in college. i had pretty good grades, you know, as and what not. but i was told that a colored girl should learn a trade, from one of the professors from whom i got an a. [laughter] so i decided i would learn a trade, and it would be physics. [laughter] it's true. >> do you get angry like she does and kind of -- does that fuel you a little bit? you had a lot of discrimination, actually, early on. >> i've had my share. you know, i'm probably more of the era with you, andrea. and, of course, one runs into those things. but over time i think one has to try to develop an evenness, and what helped me was the following: when i was a freshman, i did volunteer work
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at what was then called boston city hospital. and i worked in a pediatric ward. and these were very young people who had ailments ranging from leukemia to orthopedic problems, and there was a little boy who was born without real facial features. he just had a whole for a nose and no real eyes and mouth. it was a little white kid, and his parents never came to see him. so when i would go, i would hold him every day. so it gave me time to think about it, and one comes to understand that everyone has a cross to bear. and so you try to really understand people where they are. and that has always -- >> and does that help you minimize any problem you have yourself? >> it does, because if i'm healthy, if i have ability, i have opportunity in spite of many obstacles, then, you know,
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i can't get so depressed. and in the end i'm motivated by trying to do something for other people. that's why i love being the president of the university. to help young people realize their aspirations -- >> what is the key to motivating young people? this is something that parents want to know, teachers want to know -- [laughter] we want you to motivate these guys out here. >> well, i think you have to, you have to try to -- it's meet them where they are, but you have to try to have them understand their talents. and it takes a lot of time. and, but you have to get them to feel they have unique talents that allow them to make a difference. and in the process they can be personally successful. create wealth, solve the world's great global challenges. >> you have said it's a golden thing when you marry something
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you're good at with something you're willing to work hard at. >> that's correct. >> with -- so if everybody just knew what they were good at and what they were willing to really put the big effort in, it would go a long way to picking the right -- >> right. but i do have one advantage, which is by the time young people come to a university, they're pretty motivated. you know, to have chosen to study primarily science or engineering. but you'd be amazed at how many of them, nonetheless, have questions about, you know, where they're going and what they want to do. >> right. >> and so that's what we're there for, to take them through that passage. and it's a privilege. >> nancy-ann, you went to harvard law school, you went to oxford, you could have done so many things. how did you end up as the health care czar? >> well, you said we could have done many things, and in my case i've done many things. i actually started off, um, as a lawyer. i'm from a real small town in
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east tennessee, and my mom who raised three kids on her own didn't have a college education, but she just, you know, imbued in me the notion that i could do anything i wanted to do. >> how did she do that? did she just tell you that every day? or how did you feel she knew that? >> well, she had very high expectations and let me know that she expected me to do well in school. but when i would talk to her about, gee, i'd love to work in the white house someday, or i'm interested in politics, i'm interested in being a lawyer, she never said -- she said you'll have to study hard, you'll have to make good grades, because you'll need to get a scholarship, because i won't be able to afford it. but she never said, you know, it was the sky's the limit. that really was her view. and it really made me think i could do anything. so i did go to law school, and in the early '80s when i got out of law school, i went back
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to tennessee to practice and was going around to law firms, and even at that point there weren't that many women in the law firms. and i had guys who were interviewing me sit me down and say, now, do you understand if you come to this firm, you'll have to try cases, you'll have to go to court? [laughter] >> that's what i want to do. i'm excited about it. >> and then i had clients who in the beginning would, um, i'd go in to meet with them, and afterwards one of my partners would tell me that they said, well, that wasn't the team i expected or words to that effect. which meant, gee, we didn't know there was going to be a lady lawyer on this case. but i really liked trying cases. that was a lot of fun. but then i was drawn into politics. throughout my career, um, i've been interested in how to, how to change things for the better, and i've been very fortunate to have lots of of opportunities to
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serve. going back to college -- >> you mentioned your mother there, and i just want to wring that up. nancy's mother died of lung cancer when you were only -- >> 17. >> 17. and she was such a force in your life. how did that affect you? >> well, you know, good and bad. i think it made me very strong in a way, because it was very clear that i had no one to depend on but me. >> were you the oldest then? >> no, i was the middle. i have two brothers. >> okay. >> so in that sense i guess it makes you tough at an early age. >> with right. >> at the same time, it made me realize that, you know, there were a lot of things i wanted to get done in life, and i felt very much, you know, driven to succeed. >> like life is short -- >> life is short, and i want to make sure i have the chance to experience it. >> you touched on this, it was a
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distinct thing that you were a woman. if you were a man in your job, how would have things been different, or you could flip it and say how did being a woman affect your career? >> wow. i was just thinking when nancy was talking about sandra day o'connor and her experiences coming out of stanford, not being able to get a job, taking a job as a secretary in a law office and then at the da's office i think out in california, so this goes back generations. but it's surprisingly still present in subtle ways. everything would have been different for me if i had not been a woman. but i wouldn't have had the joy of not only being a woman, but of mentoring women and the sisterhood that we are. and last night on nbc nightly news, this was, i think, a first for us, we had four women in our bureau who worked for nightly news. my colleague, kelly o'donnell on capitol hill, lisa meyers who
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does investigative work, christa welker at the white house and i covering foreign policy. and last night all four of us were on the air. it was just bam, bam, bam. >> wow. >> so that was kind of really exciting. i realized it halfway through the show and sent messages to the others, and we were all kind of -- >> that's interesting. >> that was very, very cool. that never would have happened. it would have a whole lot easier for me, and i always felt -- and it was true -- that i had to volunteer for everything, i was judged by a much tougher standard. i had to work weekends. when i first went to cover the reagan white house, i just was coming in at the bottom. i was the number four or correspondent in a group of four signed from nbc, and i had to just look for any chance i could to break through and cover the big stories. i -- but i also felt i had to be there every day to really observe ronald reagan. i had not covered him in the
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campaign. i was still covering three-mile island and the aftermath, a lot of other things, nuclear power. >> you know, on tv news there's so much attention to what women on tv wear and what they look like and their hair -- [laughter] that still true? is that fair to say that it's still -- >> well -- >> or is it getting better? >> there was a little article in the style section. >> when i saw that article in "the washington post." >> i was surprised to read it. it was the first i'd heard about it. >> there was a story about the clothes that women anchors are wearing, that they're not wearing suits as much. but it was only about women, right? >> it seems to me, frankly, a little silly, besides the point. i think the exciting thing is that we're covering major beats, we have women in very important roles in front and behind the cameras. we now have women executive producers, this is very, very important, and vice presidents and running our major broadcasts and making very big decisions as you do here at the -- >> but you don't feel that women
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get promoted on tv for looks or if they have blond, poofy hair? >> i'm sure in some places, yes. but my experience has been that in 30, oh, more than 34 years now with nbc news and before that i was a proud employee of post "newsweek" at channel 9. that's why i came -- i was recruited from philadelphia to come here by post/"newsweek" broadcasting and had two very happy years. but nobody ever has ever said to me, oh, maybe once i was wearing something with polka dots. i thought it was very chic. [laughter] and i was covering the senate, and in my ear i heard the producer say if you ever wear that again, you know, i'll murder you or something. ..
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is a woman, enormous chatter about her hair, it is so incredibly annoying. this goes back all the way, that headbands, 1992. i don't know headbands are annoying. washington post has a new poll,
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the record that she has made i have covered, very strongly on her. you had to say that she has achieved three things in this transition coming from the center. and it was not self-evident, they could do that job. under the rider and worked collegial lee in the senate. and became a team player and developed alliances. to the point that she was considered a critical national candidate who came in second for the nomination. she has inspired a lot of people
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and worked very hard. the rest of her story got to be called back her hair is the least about her. >> the fact that that is going on, the impulses are showing very high, can still coexist these days and people have enormous respect -- just imagine what if she were to put a hair dryer on this plane and instead of going to meetings and working hard was getting all -- then we would be writing about the excessive money or whatever and the time she was putting in? >> the killer here that men don't deal with. >> the science, science is a huge thing, the lack of women in science and universities, only 10% of the teachers at the top schools in science are female and people -- what can we do to get more women motivated to go into science and why it is important?
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>> let's talk about why they aren't there first. why they aren't there begins very early in terms of what women are exposed to, what the expectations are, and it is a lot of hard work. not that people don't work hard in everything. but science is a funny business because one is not always in the limelight and so that kind of public affirmation is not there all the time until one is a fair distance down the road unless one becomes the instant entrepreneur or something like that and so a lot of them, what happens is going to happen within the community within which they work and a lot of the mores and attitudes get reinforced and so i think what
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needs to happen is we have to reach young women early, we have to affirm that and as a society values science and those who do it a little more because everything we like to play with and things we use including broadcast media, and health-care are rooted in scientific discovery and technological innovation. there has to be a greater appreciation for their role of science and technology in society. and we have to get young women engage early. we found at the university that if women are engaged in experimental work it makes a big difference. we try to create an intergenerational system but as a leader of a university when
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young women come up through the ranks and come forward through the promotion and tenure process we have to ensure fairness. it is a complex problem and that is why it is hard for people to talk about it. >> why is it important there are more women in science? >> it is important there be more scientists. we are about to face what i call the quiet crisis. you have a number of scientists in this country who came of age in the post sputnik era as i did and beginning to retire and those retirements are going to accelerate over the next few years. the second invariables that people talk about when we talk about age 1 bb depends very strongly on immigrants and we have always been that nation of immigrants but i don't think people appreciate how much
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science and engineering work force is made of those. 40% or 30% with a master's degree. what is happening -- >> 40% coming out of people from other countries? >> that is good. it says we are and a tractor. here is the thing. we go and rage about immigration policy, but the world is changing so people are having opportunities back home. >> educated here and going back home. >> so if we don't understand that, we are going to lose out. the reason i say it is a quiet crisis is you have a group that represents 5% of the work force that helped drive 50% of gdp growth. >> 5% of the work force are engineers and scientists but the value of those people is way outside.
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>> a multiplicative factor. as they retire or people don't come or say it is quiet. [talking over each other] >> by the time we recognize that it is a crisis because it takes years, decades to create a high performing scientist or engineer. i don't want to always be the serious one on these panels but there's stuff. >> we need more women. >> women have unique perspectives and at our university women go in all late to those things that touch people the most so they're strongly in biomedical engineering, chemical engineering, biology, they make unique contributions because they bring a holistic
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perspective you don't always find and some of our young men and when we put them together the young men and young women influence each other so the women learn to think in certain ways that are a little different but the men as well begin to develop this holistic perspective. >> it is fun to watch. i want to ask nncy-ann deparle, you are involved in the divisive health care reform. when you are working this hard on something that so many people desperately want, so vital and other people think it is the worst thing that ever happened to america and the pundits are screaming about it, how do you keep going and how do you put the criticism of those people that are against what you are doing? >> you have to remember when i started off doing this it wasn't so clear that it was such a
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polarizing issue. when i started off the president asked me to work on this issue in march of 2009, actually february, from the summit we have at the white house it appeared there were republicans as well as democrats sitting down together talking about how we do something to address the problem of cost and getting people access to quality health care and there were truly bipartisan discussions going on and i hit the ground running, part of those, spend hours on capitol hill meeting with republicans and putting together the bill with the senate and the house that have a lot of ideas that came out of republican think tanks. the whole thing was based on the massachusetts plan which was driven -- we consulted with a lot of people who worked on it but it all from -- wasn't always
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so clear that it would be divisive. toward the end, i remember feeling dismayed and disoriented almost walking out of the capital today the house voted and i had been there with my oldest son who was 11 at the time and thinking how wonderful it was going to be that he would grow up in a country where he would think it is strange when he heard that there was a time when we used to say someone couldn't get insurance or it it would be priced prohibitively because they had a preexisting condition or that women would have a more difficult time for men or that there would be lifetime limits on it. people used to go without care. that seemed like a huge moment of progress for our country to me and to walk out, people with signs yelling epithets and
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things like that were pretty disorienting. i believe and i certainly sought this with the president this year on the campaign trail. would you describe, there is another deputy chief of staff, a deputy chief of staff operation of policy and once we found ourselves honoring one along with our deputy communications director and military aid to is a woman and basically the president looked up and looked around and did not say anything and i wonder if he notices this, that has been a lot of fun but i like to think and when i saw the campaign trail the president wasn't hearing the stories anymore about how insurance companies jerked me around or i can't get coverage.
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things are getting better, we ran into -- >> what is lifting you really want? this provision? >> hard for me to choose -- >> banning the practice of excluding people by preexisting condition just doesn't make any sense. someone who has been sick like my mom had cancer and could go out in the market and insurance. [talking over each other] >> to see her worrying she would go to work even when she was sick and going to chemotherapy and needing to be home because she was worried about losing her job, her insurance and not being able to be there for us, that was the driver for me. i am proud that the president -- proud to work with a president who was willing to risk his
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career. >> when there is all this noise and criticism how do you stay focused? a lot of people have found themselves not in the national spotlight but you feel like what you are doing is the right thing but there are a lot of obstacles. how do you stay focused? >> all of us probably have experience that you have to tell yourself it is important to listen to everyone and be respectful and courteous and try to understand problems that people have with it but in the end you have a job to do and that is to get the best product that is closest to what congress intended as possible. [talking over each other] >> you don't even listen but we always need to listen and listen everyday from talking to someone i don't agree with. >> we are going to go to the floor for questions. >> i am asking this of nancy-ann deparle as a policy person but
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my friends here in the media. housing -- clearly people benefit from the various things she is talking about. some of them are out there somehow convinced that this is a bad thing for them. do we understand that? >> let me take another example. [talking over each other] >> another example which for me personally was hard to get my head around and as a correspondent to understand all points of view, the 61-38 vote in the senate on disability which is basically replicating what has been american policy since george herbert walker bush 22 years ago negotiated this
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with congress, proposed as the treaty by george w. bush, was advocated by john mccain and the wounded warriors and the chamber of commerce and john kerry and bob dole and was voted down including five votes from former colleagues of bob dole, friends and colleagues who worked with him despite his appearance out of bethesda naval hospital in a wheelchair, by his wife, also a former senator and over what the senate foreign relations committee had a full legislative record for hearings indicating black helicopters were not coming and this was not some crazy requirement on america. it was simply 26 other countries had ratified this and it went
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down. i am still trying to understand the opposition. i think it is fear and that is why dr. jackson -- it is not based on fact or reality but fear and that is what people learn and that is what andrea mitchell used, someone is able to hide this notion that we are somehow agreeing to one world government by ratifying this treaty which is simply embodies our law and the americans with disabilities act decades, operated just fine. even the chamber endorsed it but there is this fear with health care -- [talking over each other] >> fear of the government, fear of being required to be accountable for having health insurance, the so-called mandates, even though there is help -- [talking over each other]
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>> the velocity of information through social me via and cable, talk-radio, tv. there is a lot of false information out there and it gets amplified. so rapidly, in nanosecond's. it is very hard. >> what do you tell the consumer for information? how did they get the best? >> i say be a really smart consumer who goes to as many different sources as possible and be a consumer. if you were buying a car you would check out the whole record of that vehicle and take that attitude. there's a lot of opinion on television and radio and in the papers and that is interesting and informative, when it comes to a factual record, nowhere to
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go. >> go to the floor because we're running out of time. if you could quickly identify yourself and have a quick question. >> good morning. i come from europe and everyone talks about great careers but also what we need to know about the rules and the one that can produce -- with this crazy schedule working up with four and coming back and midnight some time, family time and career -- in a family and so forth and the child is the future of everything we talk about here and respect and
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dignity and a woman in the united states is dependent and has been on security of winning a career that can always be the end with no maternity leave, way behind other countries where the mother did not even hear about the percentage to leave and a woman dreaming about a career. not to fear when she goes to an interview to imagine she has children because that would be the end of having a chance. thank you. >> thank you. >> i will be happy to do that. talked-about -- i have always gotten up at 4:30 or 5:00 but when i get up, i happen to have a son who has grown up now show when i get up 4:30 to 5:00 he is
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off living his life. my husband and i have always been in similar careers so that really helps a lot. but over the years i have made joyces in terms of what was in the half way i was on in order to create the flexibility for me to raise our son and i do think that is so very important. the one thing i will say about the university's and rider and speak about mine, we do have more family friendly policies because we have not just maternity leave the family leave. we stopped the tenure clock for women if they're pregnant and
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then they can pick up. all of these are important and we find it ends up having a young woman be much more productive than if we did not have these things and we miss out. >> everyone else? >> i have two young sons who are 11 and 13 but were much younger four years ago when i started with president obama and it has been a real struggle land is very difficult and my husband has taken on far more of the load and he was active before and taken up much more of the load and it is a loss for me, getting up as i leave and come home and tell them to go to bed. it is a lot for me and it is a struggle and it is why i see fewer women at the top in a lot of professions because there is a lot of self selection. there are subtle things as well but a lot of self selection and
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surely, shirley ann jackson, you go in a different path where you don't want sacrifice. >> i have not had the blessing of children so my work ethic is strange. i am the one who lives near the bureau and is always there because my assignment in foreign policy in particular is to be there when there are emergencies around the world but i have colleagues who i grew up with here, judy woodruff with three children including a child with special needs and more children at the white house all these years and young colleagues in our bureau and young producers and associate producers getting pregnant, top white house producer lisa jennings married to someone on the hill with a few kids at home and she travels
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all the time. there are ways, corporations, much more flexible at least in broadcasting now. our top executive in new york and at home, taking on bigger roles and women on air as well. and curry with family. it can be done and involves a lot of trade offs. and our corporate culture ought to be much more forgiving and supportive. that is clearly the case. >> i spent four years as chairman of the nrc and our son was just entering high school so in fact my husband and i made the decision that we would not move here so as not to disrupt his life and so because we left him in the school he lived in, my husband essentially during the week did everything and as much as i could i went home
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every weekend to participate in the washington social scene. we felt was important to do the public service but it was especially important that we kept the facility in our sun's life. >> we will take another question. and see where the mike is. go ahead. >> i was wondering if being a female in your job changes the perspective of other people? >> because you are a woman is different? >> i would say yes. i worked at bell labs doing theoretical physics and the search for a number of years, the vice president of research -- >> were there a time of women there? >> answers her question. the vice president of research
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with the nobel prize winner and he sat down to talk to me one day and he said you can always have this kind of halo effect, not that you are an angel but when you get up to talk at a professional meeting you do your thing there will be a lot of light on you. people are going to watch you. he said you can make it run away or you can decide to optimize and do the best you can and that is what i have always done and over time it builds and that helps you but i do find sometimes it is hard for men to deal with women who are strong. >> we are running out of time and i want to end with -- we have asked what you wish you had known at 17 that would have made this easier and never permit others to be fine your goal, decide what you want and go for
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it. can you say something about that? >> i was very fortunate in that my parents always told me that i could do anything and your mom told you, i never felt -- until i got into my first job out of college and discovered all of the women and if i had known -- just 20. i wish i had known i could do everything that i have done because it was always a struggle at first. >> i have more confidence in myself and it would have been a lot easier if i had known i could compete and defer to my male colleagues as much and always being of the one, can i
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find something for you? i were somehow not as good and one thing to be collegial but you need to stand up for yourself. the other thing i have learned over the years and being a woman in these kinds of careers is so much fun is i have been able to hire and promote so many young women who have taken leadership roles and it is a continual process to see these colleagues advance and they are having careers that some of us could only have dreamed of. >> shirley ann jackson said something similar to you, aim for the stars. what is your device? >> my father always says aim for the stars so you can reach the
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treetops. i kind of thought if i don't get to the stars pretty quickly i have failed but is point really was it you don't aim high you won't go far. but embedded in the message is there are steps along the way, but you do have to decide your view is higher than where you are. taking that to heart took me some time but in the end i try to live my life that way. >> part of what you see, you are working very hard but you made point to say it is important to take time to relax and enjoy friends. >> take time to smell the roses because when clara send me that question it took me back to when i was 17 and the struggle i was having at that time facing my mom's death and being on my own and probably not having as much
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self-confidence as i needed but realizing i had to pull it together and manage that, so i did really good job for probably the next decade of striving and pushing forward professionally probably didn't take time to enjoy life as much as i could. so now when i look back i think when i was studying in england i wish i had taken more time to travel instead of hitting the books as much. i think that is what i would do differently and getting some of that for my children now. >> what a panel. i can't thank you enough. [applause] >> it is not every day i get to spend half of this brain power so thank you. we are going to take a short break and be back with our next discussion in a little bit. >> you don't always find many
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newspaper editors in any era embracing investigative reporting that the point we have seen over the years is not just economics. errors, for investigative reporting causes a newsroom because it is that more than economics. to ruffle the feathers of somebody powerful, that gets those people running in and complain to the publisher and we were very fortunate through the 70s and almost all our careers to work for people who were really strong and up right in that arianna and let the chips fall. >> pulitzer wide -- gillick to prize-winning investigative team of bob bartlett and james steele will take your calls, e-mails and tweets on in death. they began their collaborative work as, what is of eight books, the latest, the betrayal of the american dream. watch live sunday at noon eastern on booktv on c-span2.
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>> microsoft founder bill gates spoke at the washington ideas forum. the u.s. education system is failing to produce enough highly skilled workers. from the museum in washington this is 45 minutes. >> we have a rider who occasionally works for us named bernard bhl. amoral and political philosopher and the public celebrity. he is a man piquant is 50s who has shoulder length jet black hair. his signature look is he keeps his shirt unbuttoned all the way to the belts, the story is he is equal parts vanity for every
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part scholarship. self-evident we envious political philosopher, the fine his political philosophy as god is dead but my hair is perfect. i have reserved a little piece of amity to myself, one thing to do one of thing which is to do -- introduce bill gates. walter isaacson in doing this work rose a cover story in time about bill gates and here is how it opened. when bill gates was in sixth grade his parents decided he needed counseling. he was at war with his mother, an outgoing woman who harbored the belief that he should do with she told us, call him to dinner from the basement bedroom which she had given up trying to make him clean and he would respond what are you doing? she once demanded over the intercom. i am thinking, he shouted back. you are thinking? yes, mom, i am thinking. have you ever tried thinking?
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psychologist they send him to was in bill gates's words a really cool guy, gave me books to read after each session and i got into psychology pherae. after a year of sessions and a battery of tests the council reached a conclusion, your going to lose, he told the mother, you had better just adjust to it because there is no use trying to detail. mary was strong-willed and intelligence but she came around to accepting that it was futile to try to compete with him. so here's an interesting thing. my 91-year-old mother is in the third row with us today. [applause] >> i had an upbringing that was full of affection, but had i ever said to my mother yes, mom, i am thinking, have you ever tried thinking, we would be
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talking about right now at the podium still. it turned out to be a really good thing that bill gates was thinking. he had two intellectual chapters of thought in his career, 30 years, he was the dominant intellectual force in the digital revolution and the most recent ten years he has been the leading mind in global philanthropy. when he was in transition i went to the gates foundation to visit a friend who was beaten their ranks, a brilliant bench scientist. i was in his office and he said look at my screen. i went over and out of the e-mails listed, 20 were from bill gates and he said bill is teaching himself organic chemistry and when he gets stuck on a problem he sends it to me. he gets a measure of the force of this granular masterful mind when you look at what the global
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health initiatives have done for the gates foundation. you don't know how many cases of polio were in india last year? there was one in 2011 and zero since that time. we are down to three countries that have polio. this is one of the worst for the gates foundation. bill is going to come house and talk for a few moments on another passion of his which is u.s. education and he will speak for a few moments and then we have asked david leonhardt of the new york times to join bill onstage and continue for a few moments. i spoke to dave ahead of time asking if he could do this interview and david is a pulitzer prize winner and he asked is very gates prius?
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i said there is not a gates prize and i hope i didn't take too big a liberty in asking him to come. i have committed on behalf of the gates foundation that david leonhardt will be the first to sit in. let me present bill gates. [applause] >> thank you. good afternoon. i want to talk a bit about higher education. the reason i picked that is because i think it has been a huge strength of the united states, very important thing that has allowed us to fund our broad set of activities and be a leader in the world and the world depends on us doing it quite well. education is one of the two big areas our foundation is focused on. in the united states virtually everything we do comes under
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that umbrella, scholarships, works with libraries, a lot of work with k-12 but our work in higher education is a growing activity and one that we think is at a very important juncture. another way to look at this is to think about it as a specific case study of some of the budget trade offs that will be made in the years ahead. the federal government plays a very important role in hiring education and the choices that are made about those policies are going to make a huge difference. 1-way i look at this is i say we do have -- point in various directions. there we go. this is this case study. why does our foundation focus
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primarily on education and why do i think it is worth the press today? in a sense whether it is the agenda of the quality or the agenda of innovation, the agenda of growing the economy, creating jobs, education is at the center of that and it is fair to say in many aspects the united states has a leader, universal k-12 education, broadening that out, having 100% of our population go to higher education than any other country, having research in our higher education institutions working together, connecting startup enterprises. when you look at why we are the leader in biology, why are we the leader in high tea, the strength of the universities is a part of that. this is something we should , t strength of the universities is a part of that. this is something we should make
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sure we don't lose the other countries have adopted the more successful elements of the higher education system so they in some ways have moved ahead and looking at what worked for them and how we will stackup is very important. so this gives you a sense of the jobs question, the income question and how that connects to education. people say we need more jobs. in certain areas of college-educated like college-educated with foster engineering degrees, a shortage of people, if the country changes its immigration policies that will allow these over $100,000 a year jobs, some of them to be filled by people who
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go to u.s. universities and they are not able to do that. even with that you still have a big shortage. so if you look at professional degrees, it 2.4% unemployment is as low as it can go. even in a bachelor's degree, or master's degree, 3.6, back to this degree 4.9, if you broke that out by different majors you would see in many areas it is very low. we have the irony of having an economy where many people are wanting to get jobs and a there are a lot of open jobs and it is up to the education system to equilibrium that. if you look at some college, high school and dropouts you see this dramatic increase in unemployment levels and dramatic reduction in the weekly wages. it is no exaggeration to say
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whether it is about income equity, racial equity, the key issue is making this overall education system work for everybody in the country, kate-12 and higher education. we have more people wanting to get into this system. there are questions given the federal budget whether there will be additional capacity or not, but it is a wonderful thing that you have more people who not only want to go to enroll. that is a very substantial increase over the last five year period. however, if we look at the financial picture, state budgets are simple to describe. they are sending more on medical costs, whether that is their medicaid, current employees, retired employees, people in jail, a lot more on medical costs coming from those
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different forces and because they don't have that much more money in total a lot of that is coming from reducing their education spending and they will cut a higher education peace before the k-12 peace that there's a variation in that so you have seen a very significant cuts in state support. these state-supported institutions are the ones that provide equity. there are some wonderful private schools that the high end and some for profit schools but the bulk of people are going to two and four year state institutions where this money has been key. as a result of that and increased cost structures the tuitions have gone up. the four year tuition has gone up quite a bit more, but that is the one where you get the greatest opportunity. it is a huge rate of increase and the question is will that continue?
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what does that mean about affordability? this shows the tell money and this is one of the fastest-growing areas of federal expenditure. you can see how dramatic that was over the last four years where pell has gone to a huge levelland as state funding has been withdrawn, federal funding through these held grants have come in. this is an area of the budget that particularly challenged so print budget projections without cutting the discretionary budget, this has a very dramatic shortfall over $8 billion a year going forward. just to me, those numbers, if this is not increased, you have to take tell eligibility and dropped it in a fairly dramatic
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way which of course in terms of access to higher education and the basic plan we would like more and more people to go, work very much against that. one of the ways the equation has been balanced out is borrowing levels have gone up quite a bit. in most cases for people going to state institutions this is not yet a troublesome level. for some cases it is, but overall if we plateau at this level that would not be 8 huge challenge but it is fair to say there is not a lot of room for increase, otherwise you are going to get people who are never able to discharge those stats. one thing that i think is stunning and kind of unbelievable to me when i first learned about it is the lack of completion. united states rings very i in terms of the number of people who enter two and four year
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programs, we would be in the top five the we are not in the top ten, not even close to the top ten in terms of the number who complete their degrees so these completion rates are much lower than other wealthy countries. 58% completion rate within six years of people who sign up for a four year program. [laughter] >> that was pretty stunning to me to first hear about that and the number for the two year students is even worse. within three years only 30% complete and there are some best practices that can't be applied where you look at students and see where they're not getting engaged to bring support for those students. there are probably ways we can structure grants and loan programs that the foundation has put out. a number of contracts challenging them to look at whether the structure of the
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money that is invested in higher education the way we measure it and people take institutions and track their students, if we can't do a much better job and so the bottom line is the2 coun that have gotten ahead of us which is very much a new phenomenon and definitely something that takes away economic leadership and the amount of money spent on these kids who don't reach completion and the damage done to them in terms of their self-confidence and their debt levels is pretty bad. the job market wants college graduates. it is hard to do these projections but there is a $3 million shortfall even going out to 2018. markets have a way of equilibrium eating, those jobs
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will appear in other countries. the private sector will find those engineers, find those people somewhere and so the u.s.'s opportunity to have those, they won't simply wait around. we think about this completion thing. it is interesting to look in particular at the people who get federal grants and say these people, because they had toey p. we have in four years the percentage who get a degree dropped out and still going and likewise to the two year and this pool is just like the overall pool as a whole. what should we do going forward? obviously the level of generosity programs make a big ecauseence, i am surprised the
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of so many fiscal issues that it is easy for even something as important as zach not to get the attention it normally would. we also have to look at the structure of these policies. the incentive structure in a create to get people into the majors they are going to complete and get schools to pay attention to students. we want to reward the schools that have the high completion rates and the foundation has done a lot not to have good measures of this. we looked at the outcomes in terms of employment, salary levels that are the outcomes across all institutions, whether they are for profits or non-profit and use that as a learning opportunity. how are they falling short? what institutions, contrary to a
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u.s. news and world report ranking, who takes people with the lowest and actually educates them in a way that they do very well? that is what should be rewarded and yet the competition for who can enroll the best students is not a measure of what you are doing for those students but just about exclusivity and that is a trend that needs to be blocked and federal policies, there's a real opportunity to take advantage of those. another thing we have to keep in mind, this is one of the positive things, and technology getting us to look at ways to educate kids. do we need a big lecture hall, some degree of personalization and the learning experience. should there be a hybrid where there's online activity, and maps of online courses, and students who are left motivated, there is some face-to-face activity but you have done it in
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a way where cost structure and delivering it is not nearly as high as it has been in the past. there's a lot of promise. one of these things that is as an early stage, people can get overexcited about it. in the final analysis, it is measured not just against the elite students who have been using it so far but against the bread and butter courses like remedial math and first-year courses and abroad student pool, we will find opportunities and the policies need to encourage the schools that are bracing this in the right way of taking the tough ridge students and making sure that they get great outcomes. a big challenge and one that i hope doesn't get lost in all the big numbers, a very important part of the discretionary budget that we have to be smart and preserve as much as we can.
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thank you. [applause] >> thank you very much. thanks for doing this. it is hard listening to that not to think about the discussion we have had about education and education reform in this country over the last decade and so much of it has been focused elsewhere. it hasn't been about colleges the k-12 and charter schools, there's often it seems to me an assumption that higher education is working fine because at the top level, the private schools, higher education remains, i assume you will agree the envy of the world for good reasons. i am interested as this discussion about higher education and the problem becomes more widespread, what are the big things that policy
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could do to demand more accountability from higher education? the same way we are starting to see with no child buffed behind and race to the top? >> the last tweeting years in k-12 involved first level setting to sea where the system is falling short, to understand we have a third of the kids dropping out in high school, see that in inner-city schools there was often 50% and seeing the results that both absolute and relative basis our schools were not doing a good job. the budget plays a meaningful role, a higher percentage for higher ridge. i hope the things that are going on, teacher personal system changes, ala states are leaning on, the improvement in the curriculum where there is a common core approach where more states' share much better, more
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interactive curriculum and finally the use of technology coming in and helping things out. i think we are seen in some cases where those interventions are applied, we are seeing significant improvements at the current levels of spending. as you see, higher ed in terms of recognizing that we need to rededicate ourselves to what has not just been as elite but a huge strain of our country. our state schools, two year and four year are amazing and berkeley is an example. it is a state school but it is a totally world class institution and if you look at the trade offs they are making today cause of the state budget cuts, that they have had goes through, the question, will they retain that excellence five or ten years from now is an open question. for the broad sense going to higher education we are already
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not doing what we need to do but the economy is pushing us if you care about jobs, you have got to get more people through meaningful four year degrees. does that look like states saying to their universities and colleges we are not just going to give you money for enrolling kids that give the money a few graduate kids, we will only give the money to demonstrate they are getting jobs. what does it look like? >> absolutely. i think the first thing you start with is the measurement process. kind of like the truth in lending thing. students looking at going to university, legislatures that are supporting university should know the completion rates and just like we did, there should be some granularity, look at lower income students and what their rate is, degree programs, it would be great if you could get in coming days as an output measure and to see how different schools do, we can't just
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compete in exclusivity and whether legislators are than willing to take the schools that are not executing well and give some less funding we will see, but i do think that peer pressure if this was being measured and a practice where for a pretty small investment in seeing who is attending class, counselors who are good at helping them out, there are a few schools even in this area, the for profit sector does fairly good job, you could see a meaningful improvement fairly quickly even though it is not subject to the normal supply and demand characteristics. >> i have been to west virginia and seen a program where kids qualify for the big in state scholarship only if they remain on track to graduate in four years of academic research with graduation rates. you have been to tennessean your foundation is interested in
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these programs. does it feel to you we are at the early stage of interesting experimentation in higher education? that is focused more on completion or does it feel like the exception that it is hard to have too much optimism? >> our consortium which is called completion by design where a lot of schools came in and agreed to publish a common measure and look at best practices, that started three years ago and for those schools and a selection bias, they were more open-minded doing things, they have seen a meaningful lift in their completion rates. it is getting onto the agenda, the fact that some schools have below 30% completion rate, that is not as public as it needs to be. a lot of states k-12 went to giving grades to schools, pretty tough medicine, this school is a, b, c, d, e, that did cross
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change. i am afraid we need to be doing the same sort of thing for the universities because they are right now much more incentivized on who they left in and not what happens once they are there and there's a perverse incentive that if you make the class here, students are happy and a teacher happy and even the quality of what you get when you complete is another thing we have to look hard at. students are spending less time in class, a higher education students, then other countries. spending more out time -- time outside class and study. we are uniquely, a unique amount of free time. [laughter] >> for kids going to higher education. >> is that a cultural change? >> if you don't have a measure,
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all systems relax. state schools are competing who has the best boards or the best climbing wall just to get a high average sats for it -- but a new gene and you don't invest in teaching activities. teaching as we have seen in k-12 doesn't have a tradition of measurement. the only measurement that exists is a sort of student independent rating but that tends to be heavily influenced by how easy the class is and how rigorous it is. it has some degree of rigor and in science and engineering we see that rating tends to emphasize the rigor part because they really know they have to have specific skills for the job where as other areas tend to focus on other things. because we don't have something
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pushing constantly where university president comes in every day and says my output excellence is falling short, instead they say i promised my board a seat in u.s. news and world report and the more you spend per student no matter how you spend it you raise your rates. the more people you exclude, the more you read your rankings and who is going to add capacity to this higher education system? we are not having a hard enough time with loans and state how many for the current capacity but the needed capacity if people care about jobs, the needed capacity has to increase and most of the actors with very few exceptions are not adding capacity. for profit, but then they ran into some excess of true problems they have that have them in a bit of a period of retrenchment. the number of state schools that are doing like arizona state university and expanding quite a
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bit is very small. .. >> are you going to involve a big goth role. right now they have some of the downsides of the government role, which is it seems like they don't have what market discipline can provide. they don't have a lot of accountability, competition, and is it right to think that to some extent what we want to do is inject more competition into higher education, or is that not the right way to think of the problem? >> absolutely. we want to put more competition in. l i don't think it'll be the
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type of competition you see in restaurants where, you know, lots of them go out of business, and the ones who are good, you know, get, you know, create a chain and are very big. you won't see that kind of dynamism because the ability to have somebody new come in, the accreditation people make it almost impossible for somebody new to come in. so a little bit what you'll see more is share shifting if you have the right measures between the existing actors. so in this competition in the sense that university presidents are competitive, not, you know, to maximize profit, but there's a certain element of what they're doing that they want to make better. it just happens that they're motivated by the wrong measures today. we need to create these alternate measures. the part that's competitive today is that in the science departments they really do compete for professors, and they really do compete for students. and so that, it kind of stands
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apart in terms of its rigor, how much the students and the employment about of the students. that is very healthy. and the only thing that's bizarre is that in many of these departments over half the kids aren't u.s. citizens, so the benefit of the education accrues to other countries rather -- >> they go home. >> yeah. well, they're not allowed to stay. they want to stay, and people have open jobs for them, but they don't get to stay. so that's a bit weird. but that sector is kind of a model, was the competition -- because the competition for research grants, you know, the sense of new ideas is very strong this. outside of that, no, we have a huge problem. you know, on average if you take -- thousands of people going to class 12 hours a week, and they're spending 10 hours a week on their, on their studies. and, you know, it's something that's just gone down over time. and even so they're not completing at nearly the rate that we'd like to see.
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so this engine is very unexamined, and i do think if we come up with metrics, people will compete. they want to do the right thing. but the exemplars aren't -- until you get the measures, you don't find the exemplars, and people don't compete to match up to them. >> so here's what a skeptic would say, look, kids are only spending 12 hours a week in class. l we shouldn't be focusing so much on getting more kids into college. they're not actually learning that much in college. and really what we should be doing is getting kids education specifically tailored to what they need. it's often not four years. we shouldn't be having this big college push. there are many very successful people in american life, like bill gates, who did not graduate from college. [laughter] i'd love to hear you kind of engage with the skeptic's argument a little bit. >> yeah. well, if hiking to take courses -- if liking to take courses is good, you know, i have a data point that says, you
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know, taking courses and success aren't negatively correlated. i loved taking courses. i happened to do it outside of a formal degree framework, but the, absolutely it's great for a lot of kids to go to two-year programs. i mean, there are wonderful professional-oriented two-year degrees. and some of those are also as feedback oriented as i'm saying the science and engineering stuff is, that is there's a local employer who needs welders, that employer goes to the local community college and says, hey, let me help you get this equipment, and go ahead and advertise. some community colleges are very dynamic to look at the employment picture and change their programs. and i visit a lot of those. and they're not all that well funded, but they're very scrappy about how they go and do things. so that's definitely part of this ecosystem is that a two-year associate's degree. and in terms of high school,
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there will not, there will be decreasing employability of somebody who just has a high school degree. no matter how much we work on the k-12 agenda, the nature of the economy where america's a very, very high-cost economy, and the degree of automation towards the simpler jobs, automation is getting rid of more of those jobs than global competition. they're both there, but automation is by far the biggest piece of that. you're just not going to get rid of that. and so at least we have to have way more people getting those two-year degrees. ideally, we'd have more people getting those four-year degrees. if you, if your view is, okay, well, they're not that motivated, well, what do you do, what do they do between the age of 18 and 22? there is a cohort that's highly motivated. if you look at students who get a little bit of school, and then they come back in when they're older, they have in mind a job they want to do.
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and they're self-selected. it's a very small percentage of that age cohort, but their completion rates are unusually high. we ought to take that out of these numbers, because these numbers would be even worse. because that self-selected, highly motivated group that said, no, even 29 i'm going to come back in and get my degree, they are amazing. even the kids who go through two-year programs and transfer to four-year schools are, have a higher completion rate than the kids who start in the four-year school. because they've had to go to real trouble to go through that transfer process. so you really, you know, society needs to do something with 18-year-olds to 22-year-olds. and, you know, we're not, we're not stepping up to it. >> and your sense is that even though it's not what it could be, on average kids who are graduating from college are still getting a lot of skills and that the labor market numbers bear that out, i assume? >> yes. i wish that kids got more
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information about employability relative to what major and what university they pick. i do think there's an information failure that we could shift kids in terms of picking better schools and picking better majors that you'd have a better match between the labor market and those things. but on balance if you don't go to a four-year school, you're, you know, as a minority you have more chance of going to jail than getting a decent job. and so i don't think there's any picture that doesn't involve getting more people to go to four-year universities. now, you know, somebody can argue that with online techniques and acceleration a lot of people can complete that degree in three years. i think there's a very good discussion about that. the boundary between k-12 and
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the university, can't you shift some of that in to the k-12? a lot of expense in college is remediation where -- and it's a very awful thing. you get a great grade in high school, you apply to college, but they tell you, oh, your a.c.t. score, whatever, your compass score places you, so you have to go do this remedial math class. the dropout level of those kids is over 70%. and so some improvement of k-12 so they get basic skills, and they even get some, a few college credits in some cases probably can shorten the higher ed period to more like for a lot of people a three-year time period. but once you get below that, no, i don't think in terms of breadth of knowledge or maturity you're going to be suited for the job market of the future. >> mike mcpherson, who's the president of the foundation, says he has an aversion of i'm
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still waiting to meet the higher education skeptics who don't send their own children to college. right? watch what people do more than they say. >> yeah, but anybody who can get into those top institutions, that's four years of stimulation that's really, you know, what a wonderful thing. everybody will always aspire to that four-year, on of campus with the great students. now, it's $200,000 in cost, actually more than that once you put room and board up at the elite schools. that is completely unaffordable. so whoever gets it should, you know, feel very, very blessed. and no matter what we do with online, there will be some unique aspects that the very few who get to join that club will still find it quite attractive. those schools are not, even with their huge prices and relative price increases, they're not really in any danger. it's what we do to the broad which are mostly the state schools where the idea of
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equality and ever getting a job cans market back -- jobs market back, it's far more. when people say jobs, people are jobs creators, the only job creator who counts, if you figure out a way to get jobs for dropouts, marijuana you -- maybu should pay a little less in taxes. that would be really interesting. [laughter] jobs aren't some finite things that somebody just discretionally decides to create. there's infinite demand if you have the right skill sets, because you can gain share, start new companies, all sorts of things. so the key to the job market is far or more of this education dilemma. people mix up what happened in the short-term crisis versus what's going on secularly which is our jobs' mismatch is an education problem. >> realizing between the lines, i think i hear you giving -- with one exception -- fairly high marks to the current administration's education policy, meaning their focus on
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funding pell, the fact that they talk about completion, the fact that they think it's worth spending tax dollars to do these things? is that right? >> well, no one's solved the budget problem, and so you know where people's priorities are after they solve the budget problem. you know, everybody for everything pretty much. okay, there's a few things that some people aren't for. [laughter] but the voters are certainly schizophrenic. >> right. >> you know, they're for lower taxes and all the spending. >> pretty much. >> yeah. just that math thing is what's screwing this damn thing up. [laughter] and so it's easier the to say what the priorities are once you've gone through a set of trade-offs. but, absolutely, the department of education, what they did in k-12 and what they're looking at and how they spoke up for it, i think these have been four good years. they've been willing to challenge the status quo, which even some of their constituent
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is says were very uncomfortable with them challenging the status quo. and i think, you know, even at the state level this is somewhat bipartisan to say k-12, we need a personnel system. you know, places like colorado and tampa in florida, there are pilot things that i'm very excited about what's coming out of those, the learning from charter schools. so, yes, in k-12 the last ten years, as painful as they've been, i think we're getting some good things out of that. higher ed, you know, we've got some focus on completion, not nearly enough. a little bit of focus now on this technology piece. but the financial equation, i find it scary that, how it's pointing in one direction which is less people going to higher ed whereas the economic comparatives where people seem to think we want people to be employed, that points in a completely different direction. and there's no way if you, if you cut discretionary spending in and education takes a
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proportional percentage of those cuts the way some people are talking about, you, you know, just -- you know, i'll tell you your unemployment figure, and it will be very high. and it will be class structured in a deep way. the fact that the unemployment thing, people don't highlight how differentiated it is. i think that's been missed somewhat, and therefore, you miss the role of education in it. and you miss that we are headed towards a real problem, and can we haven't challenge -- and we haven't challenged these institutions to be better. we aren't looking at how we do the pell and the loan grants in the right way. >> have they done too much to crack down on for-profit? you have some positive things to say about for-profit, and this administration's been pretty tough on them. >> i think that all the things that were discussed about for-profit measures were actually pretty interesting because those measures should be applied to all schools. and so they actually talked about at least publishing data
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on who has jobs. they even figured out how to go get the incomes data and what those would be. i think it's actually suspended right now by some court thing. but i actually think, although they were kind of, oh, we should measure the for-profit people, actually, the for-profit people the costs per degree on average is actually lower than their, than the state systems. it just doesn't look that way because you have so much state subsidization that is kind of invisible, and the completion rates for the for-profit even without adjusting for the fact that they are taking poorer kids, less educated kids in, they had a very good completion rate. now, there was some overspending on marketing, there were some things that, you know, the fact that they're going through this, okay, this retrenchment, there are some good things about that. if we could get it right and get good output measures, the fact is that is one of the pieces
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that could go back to growth, you know, with the right controls in place. so i think there were some good discussions, and i was surprised that people didn't broaden it to the issue of, hey, you know, what about these ones that we subsidize like mad? you know, how are they doing? why should we care as much about that as the ones that at least when they do pay off their loans, the state hasn't had to take any liability whatsoever. >> it's almost like you're saying the crackdown wasn't that it was too big, it was that it was too small. >> in terms of looking at the sectors' efficiency and effectiveness, yeah. that sounds a little rude, but i'd say that. >> let me just end on one thing that's a little beyond education. you've talked about the past -- in the past about the climate. of all these long-term things, you can make a case for optimism in education, for optimism in public health. can you make a case for optimism about the climate? >> oh, absolutely. almost every problem that people
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get pessimistic about often has to do with the fact that they're not aware of the potential for innovation this that space. so they take a kind of static view. you know, like new york about 1900 had a horse manure problem. and they just did the projection, i mean, it was bad. [laughter] and they just couldn't see their way out of it. but, you know, slowly but surely they got a co2 problem. [laughter] instead. so the, things can happen. you have to be careful to incent the right type of innovation. health care may be a case where increpting very expensive, low impact innovation, we're not prioritizing cost-reducing, important innovations. we have to look at our incentive from the innovation system which is very broken in u.s. health care and very broken as we've just discussed in u.s. higher education. in the case of energy, we will
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get inexpensive, low co2 energy sources. the problem is that the amount of time it takes to invent, make them economical, deploy those things in a sector that moves very lowly historically -- and there's been great books that go through this -- we have to kind of on door rate an invention. and within the field there are people like me who think we focus too much on deployment of stuff that we have today versus funding basic research that could give us things that don't need to be quite as subsidized when they get out there. so i think there's a scary race going on, and i'm worried that we're not paying attention to it in terms of of do we get the new stuff before the amount of warming hurts the entire globe, but particularly the poorest who are in those aqua tore y'all regions and subject to that. but even there i think the right things can come up with a good solution. >> and what should policy be doing right now to get, to try
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to help the good side of that race? >> well, i think to the degree that you're flat funded, you should shift money away from tax expenditure on deployment, which is accelerated depreciation, production-type credit. you should take, you know, maybe even ten billion out of that and put five to ten billion back into the basic research piece. and ideally you would say that when the economy is better, that you will have a significant carbon tax. i know that's politically difficult, but in terms of incenting the right behavior, the right innovation, the u.s. kind of owes it to the world to push forward. and that is a, you know, it's a net positive for revenue, and it drives the right behavior change even though it's not likely to happen in the short term. >> thank you very much. >> all right, thanks. [applause] >> the u.s. senate is scheduled
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to gavel in later today for general speeches. lawmakers were standing by to act on the hurricane sandy relief bill that stalled in the house. house leadership indicated last night that they will not bring that relief bill to the floor before the start of the 113th congress tomorrow. of course, before leaving the capitol yesterday, the house approved the fiscal cliff agreement hammered out by vice president biden and senate minority leader mitch mcconnell. in that agreement tax rates for incomes up to $400,000 remain unchanged, but above that the rates rise to 39.6%. estate taxes go to the top rate of 40% with the first $5 million exempted. capital gains taxes go up to 20%, and it delays across-the of board spending cuts for two months. the agreement also extends long-term unemployment benefits
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for one year and allows the the 2% payroll tax cut to lapse, it being restored to 6.2%. also the alternative minimum tax is permanently adjusted. check out, and you can find more at our fiscal cliff web site. >> burmese opposition leader aung san suu kyi said the award represents the aspirations of the burmese people for a democratic government. also speaking at the event, secretary of state hillary clinton and former first [inaudible conversations] >> ladies and gentlemen, the
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speaker of the united states house of representatives, the honorable john boehner. >> ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon and welcome to the united states capitol. this is a great day for the american people, and we're since the days of the american revolution, the united states congress has commissioned gold medals as the highest expression of appreciation for distinguished achievements. the first congressional gold medal was awarded to general george washington in 1776 for liberating the city of boston. and today in accordance with h.r. 4286, we'll present a congressional gold medal to aung san suu kyi in recognition of her efforts to liberate the people of burma. today we celebrate her steadfast commitment to democracy, civility and human dignity, and
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we do so in a manner worthy of these ideals. after all, it was the house led by a speaker from the democrat party, nancy pelosi, that initiated this measure awarding this meldal, and a republican president -- george w. bush -- who signed it into law. his wife, former first lady laura bush, is with us today as is her predecessor, our secretary of state, hillary clinton. coming together in the spirit of mutual respect steps from the chambers where we passionately debate the issues of the day -- that's become almost second nature to us. but it is a blessing, and we'll hear over and over during the course of this ceremony aung san suu kyi showing how hard-won it really is. on behalf of the congress, allow me to express how humbled and honored that we are by your
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presence here in the rotunda of the unite capitol. the united states capitol. >> ladies and gentlemen, please stand for the presentation of the colors by the united states armed forces color guard, the singing of our national anthem, and the retiring of the colors. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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>> halt! present colors! ♪ o say can you see by the dawn's early light -- ♪ what so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last dwhreeming. ♪ whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous night; ♪ or the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming. ♪ and the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air gave proof through the night that our flag was still there. ♪ o say does that star-spangled
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banner yet wave; ♪ o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave ♪ >> right shoulder! ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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♪ ♪ >> ladies and gentlemen, please remain standing at the chaplain of the united states house of representatives, the reverend patrick conroy, gives the invocation. >> let us pray. god of the universe, we give you thanks for the gift of life and for the many blessings that life brings. today we gather in this hallowed temple to representative
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government dedicated to the enjoyment of life and it blessings by its citizens to honor aung san suu kyi. we are honored by her presence and her heroic witness to the dignity of each person, most especially in her native land of burma. her story is known to all, her example among the greatest of our time. of all tile. time. we ask that as we come together to honor her, you bless our gathering. may we all be emboldened to give of our life energies as she has done, to stand up for human freedom wherever it may be denied.
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and blessed her most noble of causes. move the hearts of those who would deny freedom to her and to the people of burma. may our actions today add to the universal outcry for justice and freedom so that the blessings of life will burst forth for the citizens of aung san suu kyi's native burma. god bless the nation of burma and bless the united states of america. amen. >> please be seated. ladies and gentlemen, the representative from the 7th district of new york, the honorable joseph crowley. >> thank you, speaker boehner,
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father conroy. thank you to all my house colleagues who are with us today, in particular leader pelosi, whip hoyer, representative don manzullo as well as the distinguished senators with us including leader mcconnell, senator feinstein and senator mccain. mrs. bush and madam secretary, our thanks and appreciation the both of you for not only taking the time to be here today, but for your many contributions to this effort and your commitment to advancing the cause of freedom and democracy in burma. i would be remiss if i did not also mention someone who's not with us today, and that is congressman tom lantos. tom, his wife annette and his staff were mentors to me and all worked so hard on behalf of burma for so many, many years. i wish he were here today to share this moment in history with us, because i think that he would agree today is an amazing
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day. today is an incredible day. who would have thought that when this bill was introduced in the house in 2008, when aung san suu kyi was still under house arrest, that in a few short years she would be standing -- or sitting -- here with us on u.s. soil receiving this honor? and as a member of the burmese parliament? back then we thought about granting the medal in absentia which may have been the first time a person would have received in the history of the medal, would have received the congressional gold medal while in detention. who would have imagined that this change was possible? who would have thought that this could happen? well, let me tell you who believed that it could come true, and that is aung san suu kyi herself. she might be too humble to admit
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it, but i know she always thought this day, this moment would be possible. not because she's someone who worries about awards or honors, because i can tell you she certainly does not. she believed that because she and the burmese people always believed that change was possible. they hoped, they fought, they knew change must come to their country. she knew the burmese people yearned for human rights, and most importantly, deserved democratic governance. she stoked the flames in a peaceful way for lasting change even amongst those already in a position of power. her efforts have helped lead us to where we are today. there's been a loot of advancement -- a lot of advancement that has been made in burma over the last two years, and we must recognize and give thanks to all those who have had the courage to help lead and support the changes in burma, including those in the
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present government. but we also must honor and remember those who have made the great sacrifices; imprisonment, lives lost to get to where we are today. far too many have paid too high a price in the effort to bring about freedom and democratic governance in burma. it is with those people in mind, those who sacrificed so much, that we acknowledge the work that is not done yet. we must insure that the momentum unfolds into sustained progress, into permanent freedoms and into a solidified democracy. because as much as i'd like to believe that the change in burma that has occurred is irreversible, as much as i'd like to revel in blind optimism and believe that the battle for freedom was won, it is not yet.
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the tides of progress can reverse just as easily as they flow if we do not remain vigilant and demand further progress. but let there be no doubt, today is a moment of joy, a moment to honor a genuine hero or heroine, someone who has endured solitude, someone who has been forced to watch others struggle and to suffer, someone who has put country before herself, someone who has inspired millions of others to stand up for human rights and for justice, someone who has given voice to a movement, someone who has led with unwavering commitment. that person is aung san suu kyi, and we are so very, very proud to stand here and honor you today. [applause]
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>> ladies and gentlemen, the representative from the 16th district of illinois, the honorable donald manzullo. >> mr. speaker, leaders reid and mcconnell, secretary clinton, mrs. bush, aung san suu kyi, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen and my family, i come before you today to humbly welcome a legendary human rights champion, aung san suu kyi, to the united states congress for a ceremony that many of us feared would never happen. i chair the foreign affairs subcommittee on asia and the pacific. when my good friend, joe
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crowley, and i worked to pass the god medal in 2008 to aung san suu kyi who was serving her 13th year of house arrest, incarcerated for daring to challenge a military hundred that. -- junta. your presence here today is nothing short of a miracle. but patriots succeed because of miracles. the sound of freedom can never be silenced. it is a testament to the incredible strength of your convictions and to the depth of your aspirations for burma to achieve democracy. it means so much to me and all of your supporters that you've made the time to visit us during this momentous visit. aung san suu kyi is someone who needs no introduction, because there really are no words that can adequately describe the sacrifice that this woman has endured for over 15 years.
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we all know the incredible story of of her dedication ander love for her beloved homeland and its people. but underneath the public face, there is a daughter, a mother, a beloved companion who put everything she held dear on the line to fight injustice and oppression. there are no awards that can replace the time lost or erase the pain endured. but this time lost must not and will not be in vain. we must follow the example set by aung san suu kyi and continue to fight against to presentation wherever it rears its ugly head. we gather today to praise not only her accomplishments, but to bring to light the anguish and suffering of all those around the world who continue to endure oppression. we must never forget that the geopolitical decisions made here in washington have a real and lasting impact on individuals
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around the world. aung san suu kyi, on your landmark visit to the united states, let me congratulate you on making a tremendous difference in burma and the rest of the world. you're a true inspiration for all of us. as the leader of the opposition, your respondents are significant -- responsibilities are significant, but in my opinion, there is nothing that you cannot accomplish. when you addressed the subcommittee on asia and the pacific via video last year, i was overcome we motion by your resolve and spirit. you asked the congress to support burma and her people, and i'm happy to report that we have not failed you. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, the senator from the state of california, the honorable dianne feinstein.
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>> mr. speaker, leader pelosi, mrs. bush, leader reid, leader mcconnell, secretary of state hillary clinton and my colleagues in government, this is a special day to honor a special person in a potential -- in a special place. for many years i have followed the tragedies and victories of this uncommonly courageous and persistent woman. in 1988 she quickly rose to be the voice of democracy in burma, creating the national league for democracy. elections followed in 1990 where her party won 80% of the seats. but that joy quickly turned to tragedy. the military junta nullified the election and arrested aung san suu kyi. she would spend the better part of two decades under house
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arrest. unable even to visit her dying husband. in 1996 i recall senator bill cohen approaching me, along with senator mccain, to help sponsor a burma sanctions bill. sanctions were put in place in 1997 and only loosened in july of this year. senator mcconnell later became one of aung san suu kyi's chief advocates in the senate, and we continue to work on behalf of the people of burma. in 2003 following an assassination attempt, senator mcconnell and i worked to pass an important ban that remains in place today. an effort to bring about further reform. and i must say burma is extremely lucky to have a champion like aung san suu kyi. in the face of violence, intimidation, harassment, she
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has never wavered from her principles or ceased her push for democracy and human rights. she celebrates the release of political prisoners, including approximately 90 released this week. but she remains true to those who remain behind bars, a number estimated to be around 200. this woman sacrificed many years of her life to bring about these changes. she is truly an inspiration to the world. you are so well deserving of this congressional gold medal, i can only begin to express my thrill and happiness that we are able to present this to you today in this special place, a very special woman. thank you. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, the
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senator from the state of arizona, the honorable john mccain. >> at my age i try to be realistic about how many more times i'll be surprised by a wonderful and unexpected turn of events. i might have hoped, but i'm not sure i expected, that one day i would have the honor of welcoming my personal hero, aung san suu kyi, to the congress of the united states, that she would be able to travel abroad without fear of being barred from returning to the country that she loves and serves so well. i consider myself very fortunate to havelied to see this -- to have lived to see this day and to know the people of burma whose dignity and rights aung san suu kyi has sacrificed so much to defend and will one day be free to live with dignity and justice and hope. and it's a testament to the courage of the burmese people
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and the person they call simply the lady that that day is approaching. i've known quite a few brave and inspiring people, but none more so than the woman we honor today. i first met her 15 years ago when she was permitted to leave her house briefly to speak with me at the residence of the u.s. char jay in rangoon. i was not prepared for her. she was exquisitely polite and graceful. she spoke softly and calmly, the picture of gentleness and serenity. is in the woman, i asked myself -- is in the woman, i asked myself, who has managed to cause so much trouble for the powerful, viability, cruel men who unlawfully ruled her country, men who are so befuddled by the implacable resistance offered by this one
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gentle lady? they had attacked her, jailed her, threatened her, isolated her, kept her family from her. they'd done all that, done all that could be done to break her spirit and her will to resist. but as a union soldier once noted about u.s. grant as he sat on his horse while shells exploded around him, aung san suu kyi didn't scare worth a damn. [laughter] it's not power that corrupts, she said, but fear; fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it, and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it. aung san suu kyi would not be afraid, and that, my friends, is the most powerful resistance human beings are capable of.
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i want to thank you -- i want to thank you, my friend the lady, for teaching me at my age a thing or two about courage and for reminding me to always expect justice to triumph over injustice, goodness over evil, love over hate. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, the former first lady of the united states, mrs. laura bush. [applause]
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>> i want to thank the united states congress for allowing me to add my voice to the global chorus of honors for aung san suu kyi and to send along the deep respect of my husband, george, as well. the transition in burma, like past events in south africa or eastern europe, shows that history has a hopeful direction. it's capable of miracles. there's a part of every soul that longs for freedom, and any government built on oppression is built on sand. but as mandela and half el demonstrated, vast historical changes often begin in a single mind, a single heart. and the hope that now grows in burma is a tribute to aung san suu kyi. one of the most oppressive
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governments on earth attempted to isolate and silence one woman. it must have seemed an easy task. instead, the regime encountered an immove bl object -- immovable object, and its legitimacy broke against her character. she became a symbol of courage, perseverance and defiance, a symbol that integrity was still possible in burma, and the symbol became an inspiration for activists, monks and millions around the world. when her long isolation ended, some of us have finally met aung san suu kyi in person and found not a symbol, but a woman of tremendous humor, honesty and grace. and that's only increased our admiration. when political prisoners are freed and normal political life revives, it's the start of new
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tasks. burma has needed her courage and patience. now it needs her wisdom and leadership. in the work of reform and reconciliation. her contribution to burma is decades only and just beginning. today our country honors an exceptional woman who became the mother of her country, and we pledge our support in the work ahead. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, the democratic leader of the united states house of representatives, the honorable nancy pelosi. [applause] >> it is an historic opportunity
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to be here today with aung san suu kyi as she is awarded the congressional gold medal, the highest honor congress can bestow. i join my colleagues, including the leader of this effort in the house, congressman crowley, in thanking aung san suu kyi for her unwavering commitment to peace, nonviolence and democracy in burma. i associate myself with his remarks in praise of our former colleague, chairman tom lantos, and his family's efforts on behalf of of this occasion today. it is appropriate to honor also as we honor aung san suu kyi the many burmese democracy supporters, many from california -- senator feinstein -- who are with us here today. we take this opportunity to remember those who have suffered so much, including the burmese students, national league of democracy party members and
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other supporters who fought for democracy in 1988. members of the burmese parliament in exile who have worked tirelessly from abroad. the buddhist monks who courageously rose up in the saffron revolution in 2007 and the internally displaced and ethnic minorities who have endured so much poverty and conflict. today as we bestow the congressional gold medal on aung san suu kyi, we honor them all with this ceremony in the rotunda of the united states capitol. it doesn't seem so long ago, and it wasn't, that women leaders and members of congress gathered to honor aung san suu kyi on her 50th birthday. she could not be with us that day, but secretary albright was, secretary of state, and she is with us today, and we're o honored. we all agreed that day as we
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sang happy birthday so loudly that we thought that you could hear us, and it was important that you know how well we wished you. but we also wanted to know, wanted the rulers in burma to know how strongly we felt about you as well as how hard we were willing to fight for you. i know i speak -- mr. speaker, i know that i can say i speak for all here today when i say that our hearts are full of joy, full of joy to celebrate aung san suu kyi's leadership and her presence. it is, indeed, an honor to be in her presence. her presence here today is remarkable. when we pass thed the gold medal legislation in 2008, as was said, it was thought maybe it would be given in in absent shah, but aung san suu kyi knew
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better. she knew if we waited a bit, we could celebrate in this way. it is a symbol of the progress in burma, it is a sign that the bond between her and the united states. more than 15 years ago she said to the world, please, use your liberty to promote ours. with sanctions and boycotts, with rallies and legislation and with direct dialogue and engagement, we did. the obama administration and secretary clinton are to be commended for their policy of engagement that has produced real progress on the long road toward democracy. what an honor for us that the secretary is here, what a great honor it is for us that mrs. bush is here bringing the greetings of president bush. the united states has stood and stands with the freedom-seeking people of burma in their just cause. i'm proud to say that northern california is home to the largest burmese population in
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the nation. the new yorkers think they may be. [laughter] we're not competitive around here. [laughter] san francisco has been a leader in promoting democracy for burma and for supporting aung san suu kyi. buddhism and its nonviolent tradition has been a source of strength for that democracy movement in burma. though aung san suu kyi has seen her supporters beaten, tortured and killed, she has never responded with hatred and violence. she has asked only for peaceful dialogue and progress toward democracy. >> she has always believed that the need for democracy or for all the people of burma was more important than her personal needs. indeed, she made great personal sacrifices in terms of her own family, as senator feinstein pointed out. one admirer described her as a
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seeker, a soul pilgrim, one who make her life a vehicle for an awakening to deeper and greater truths. sawn suu kyi walks in the footsteps of her beloved father and the giants of history. for her personal sacrifice, for her inner strength, for her love of burma and it people and for being an example of strength and courage to the world, today we are proud to honor her with the congressional gold medal, the highest honor congress can bestow. thank you. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, the republican leader of the united states senate, the honorable mitch mcconnell. [applause]
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>> over the years we've recognized many remarkable men and women in this place of honor. all of them extraordinary. it would be foolish to try to make comparisons among them. yet for me at least today's ceremony is particularly meaningful. i first came to know of the woman we honor today more than two decades ago. i came across an article that told the story of her struggle, and from that moment on i felt compelled in my own small way to make that cause my own. it was impossible not to be moved by her quiet resolve, her
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hidden luminous heroism, and it's impossible today, all these years later, not to be moved by the thought that this most unlikely of revolutionaries may yet witness the deepest longing of her heart. a representative, democratic system in which the people of burma are finally able to fully enjoy their god given rights. it is in this hope that we stand today with the people of burma and with aung san suu kyi in knowing that whatever the future holds, she will fight unflinchingly to the end. here in this place surrounded by the statutes of our own national
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heroes of independence and equality, we draw new inspiration from this courageous woman from a distant land. she reminds us that the freedoms we enjoy are not just our birthright as americans, they are the aspiration of all men and women. and defending them always require the kind of courage she has shown throughout her long and difficult struggle. for the people of burma. there are many examples of that courage, but i think my favorite took place on august 26, 1988. [laughter] suu kyi was about to make her very public debut with a speech to more than a half a million people.
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at the pagoda. and someone asked her, did she want to wear a bulletproof vest? why, she answered? if i was afraid of being killed, i would never speak out against the government. it's easy to throw flaming bottles from a passing car or from behind a mask, it's easy to spray bullets from a tank at an unarmed mob. the woman we honor today chose a far more difficult path, the path of gandhi, the path of dr. martin luther king, the arduous path of idealism, peaceful resistance, civil disobedience, of voluntary renunciation for the sake of
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future generations she would never know. the path of hope. it was not the life she wanted, but it was, she knew, her calling. and she has been faithful. we are honored today to stand with you, my friend, for the noble cause that you embody. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, the majority leader of the united states senate, the honorable harry reid. >> today the people of burma and the united states honor aung san
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suu kyi for her personal sacrifice and her dedication to spreading freedom and justice not only in burma, but the world. even when it meant separation from her family, when it meant being apart from her husband at the hour of his death, suu kyi has remained true to her cause. today i also recognize my colleague, republican leader mitch mcconnell. i have stood next to him on the senate floor now for a long time, and there's no cause for which he has been more pronounced than doing something about suu kyi and burma. ..
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but i'm pleased where burma policy is concerned there's been no split between democrats and republicans. i'm grateful senator mcconnell for his leadership on this issue. not just for the last few days, last week, few months, but for two decades. i also commend secretary hillary clinton, and the many foreign service officers who dedicate their time and talents to the cause of liberty and democracy abroad. as we tragically saw last week, state department personnel often put the very lives on the line as we work to spread american values around the globe. so as we honor suu kyi today, i hope to also express her gratitude to all those who siege
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country in search peace. burma has made strides towards freedom for all its people. but there's more work to be done. she will tell you that. more work to be done to ensure that no one in burma need to live in fear of political or ethnic violence. elections are an important step towards that goal. suu kyi is released from house arrest and subsequent election to parliament is another. but as suu kyi has said, and i quote, one person of conscience is too many, closed quote. until the burmese people live under a fully democratic government, is transparent and respects the rule of law, you must continue to push for reform. as suu kyi said in oslo, she accepted don't bell peace prize, again, i quote, -- the nobel peace prize, peace is indivisible. as long as negative forces are better than anywhere, we are all at risk.
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so every citizen of the world including those who live in the freest and safest conditions oh a debt of gratitude to the brave and souls who put their lives on the line for democracy and freedom. there's no better example of that than the guest we have here today. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, the united states secretary of state, the honorable hilary rodham clinton. [applause] >> seventeen years ago, as we were in beijing on behalf of the u.n. conference concerning the rights of women, we thought
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about many of the women around the world who could not be with us but whose presence was a strong message of the values that we were promoting, values that were not just american values, but universal values. madeleine albright left that conference in beijing taking with her a poster signed by all the americans and a few others who we gave the opportunity to sign to take that poster to burma to give to aung san suu kyi, to let her know once again that there were many of us around the world supporting her in her cause, remembering her
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personally. when i was a member of the senate and privileged to vote for the bill that we now see come to fruition in 2008, i never imagined that a year later i would be secretary of state. but i was so pleased to have the opportunity to work with my colleagues, my former colleagues, in thinking about a new approach that the united states might take to try to see if there were any way to help move a transition forward, not only in honor of and furtherance of daw suu kyi's life's work, but for the people of burma.
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i reached out to joe crowley and congressman manzullo and my friends dianne feinstein, john mccain, and mitch mcconnell. i went to see senator mcconnell in his office. i said, mitch, what do you think about seeing whether there is any opening whatsoever? and i was so pleased when he said, well, let's give it a try. let's be careful. let's proceed judiciously. on the way out of his office, he stopped and showed me a letter from suu kyi to him. we knew that at some point change would have to come, but whether it would be a year, a decade, or longer, no one could predict. but very carefully, in close
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consultation with the congress, we began sending assistant secretary campbell and then now-ambassador derek mitchell in the position created by the congress of special envoy, listening, probing, seeing whether there was something happening. and slowly change started. and of course, when the house arrest was finally lifted and the voice of this remarkable woman could be heard more broadly, we knew that the united states had to be not only supporting the change, but carefully nurturing it to ensure that it did not end up being
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hijacked, detoured. today, we are joined by a representative from the president of burma, and we welcome u aung min. we are joined by the new ambassador from burma, than swe. and we are joined not only by a fearless champion of human rights and democracy, but a member of parliament. it's almost too delicious to believe, my friend, that you are here in the rotunda of our great capitol, the centerpiece of our democracy, as an elected member of your parliament. as --
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[applause] and as, leader pelosi, the leader of the political opposition, the leader of a political party. i am so deeply moved by what she has stood for and what she has represented, first and foremost for the people of her country, but for people everywhere who yearn for freedom, whose voices deserve to be heard. but i am also very impressed that she was not satisfied upon the release from house arrest to
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remain an advocate, a symbol, an icon. in many ways, that would have been the easiest path to take, because if anyone understands how difficult politics is anywhere in the world, it is all of us in this chamber today. the to and fro of making decisions of compromise, of reaching agreement with people that you don't agree with, and in her case, people who were her former jailers, is a great testament to her courage and fortitude and understanding of what burma needs now. last december, i had the great honor of visiting with her in
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the house by the lake where she was confined for many years. as we walked around that house and through the rooms, i remembered another visit i had made years before with nelson mandela showing me his prison cell on robben island. these two political prisoners were separated by great distances, but they were both marked by uncommon grace, generosity of spirit, and unshakable will. and they both understood something that i think we all have to grasp, the day they walked out of prison, the day the house arrest was ended, was not the end of the struggle. it was the beginning of a new phase. overcoming the past, healing a
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wounded country, building a democracy, would require moving from icon to politician. in a time when politics and politicians are sometimes the objects of criticism and even disdain, it is well for us to remember people fight and die for the right to exercise politics, to be part of a democracy, to make decisions peacefully, without resorting to the gun. that work of building democracy never ends, not here in the seat of the oldest democracy in the world, or in a country like
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burma in its new capital of nay pyi taw, where the speaker of the lower house where suu kyi now serves said to me, help us learn how to be a democratic congress, a parliament. he went on to tell me that they were trying to teach themselves by watching old segments of the west wing. [laughter] i said, i think we can do better than that, mr. speaker. so as we honor her, a time that many of us feared would never happen, it's good to recognize that one phase of her work may be over, but another phase, equally important, is just beginning. and that the united states will
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stand with her, with the president of burma and those who are reformers in the executive branch and the legislative branch, with the activists, with civil society, as they fan the flickers of democratic progress and press forward with reform. and we wish them all godspeed. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, the speaker of the united states house of representatives, the honorable john boehner. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, let me say thank you all for your presence here in the capitol rotunda today.
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let me also thank secretary clinton and mrs. bush for joining us, and thank my colleagues in the leadership on both sides of the capitol for their work in bringing us all together. and my colleagues who sponsored the resolution, thank you. but one leader and particular i think deserves recognition for extraordinary devotion, and that, of course, is my good friend, senator mitch mcconnell. in a few moments we will present ms. suu kyi with the congressional gold medal, and what a moment it will be for the woman whose name means strange collection of bright victories. nearly a quarter of a century ago ms. suu kyi invited her countrymen to fulfill her father's call to make them hocrisy the popular creed.
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today, because of the sacrifice of she and her supporters of the invitation still stands. a bright victory indeed is one that we will celebrate today. and as we do we can look ahead with a renewed sense of purpose. we can present this metal not only as a symbol of our highest honors, but also of our highest hopes, and for the hard work that lies ahead. because freedom isn't easy to find. it takes a long, winding road. shortcuts are few and setbacks are many. america has known its fair share. but so long as the party is met by -- led by men and women who refuse to give into fear or doubt or to refuse to give up their identity, their dignity and their sense of mission, that gleam in their i, will still get there. for all we have for freedom, rudyard kipling, one of suu
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kyi's favorite authors once row, all we use or know, this is our father, who fought for us long, long ago. that gleam in her father's i still lights. the latest difficult and often gloomy path. but this gold medal, the american people think her, may have served as a high and shining beacon of our commitment to the future of good health and bright victory. thank you all very much. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, please remain seated at the unveiling and presentation of the congressional gold medal by members of the united states congress.
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[inaudible conversations] [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, aung san suu kyi. [applause]
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[applause] >> this is one of the most moving days of my life. to be here in the house undivided, a house joined together to welcome the stranger from a distant land. yes, i do not feel myself to be a stranger. i see many familiar faces, and faces that are new to me, but know what they have done for my country. and for our cause. this is a moment for which i
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have been waiting for many years. among all these faces, are some i saw while i was under house arrest, and some i saw after i was released from house arrest. in all the faces of my life, i have been accompanied by friends, everywhere. so it's worth the waiting. the great honor that you have conferred to me will be a lasting memento of the steadfast support of the united states congress of the democratic aspirations of my people. from the depths of my heart i thank you, the people of america, and you, their representatives, for keeping us in your hearts and minds during the dark years when freedom and
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justice seemed beyond our reach. so many of you have done so much to uphold our cause, that it would take me more than one afternoon to recite all the names of those whom i hold dear in appreciation and gratitude. however, i would like to mention the name of one man who i so wish could have been with us today. tom. i'm sorry i a ride too late to be able to meet him. to be able to take -- shake his hand and say, thank you for what you did for us here thank you for being the man you are. i never had the chance to meet him, but i shall always remember him with warm and gratitude. i stand here now strong in the knowledge that i am among friends who will be with us as
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we continue with our task of building a nation that offers peace and prosperity, and basic human rights protected by the rule of law to all who dwell within its realms. this task has been made possible by the reform measures instituted by president. our president, our very young but rapidly maturing legislature, and the vast majority of our people are committed to democratic value that will enable us to fulfill our potential and to take our rightful place in the modern world. i am particularly encouraged by the presence of -- who has been leading peace talks in our country, and whose presence reinforces my faith in the future of reform and
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reconciliation. there will be difficulties in the way ahead -- [applause] there will be difficulties in the way ahead, but i'm confident that we shall be able to overcome all obstacles with the help and support of our friends. that ties of friendship and understanding that have developed between you, the representatives of the most powerful democracy in the world, lovers of democracy in burma, compensates for much of the trials we had to suffer over the past decades. these ties will be strengthened as we work together to achieve our common good. how privileged i am to be with you here today, but there are many who are not enjoying this
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privilege yet, and these are the people you need to remember. not just those in my country, but everywhere else in the world where freedom is yet a dream. i believe i speak, not just for myself, for many of my colleagues, and for my people when i say, may today -- many days and years of hope and joy to come for the peoples of the united states and burma, and other people the world over who are united in their desire for harmony, security and liberty. it has always been my opinion that democracy offers the best challenge between freedom and security for all of us. to be a whole human being we
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need both security and freedom. without security, we cannot rest and speech necessary to cover the words. without freedom, also we would be deprived of the many opportunities that would make us more human and more humane. for this reason, i already share to the principal and values of democracy. no doubt it's not perfect. there is no such thing as a perfect system, invented by we, human beings, who are so riddled with infection. and yet in spite of imperfections, democracy still remains a beacon of hope for all of us. we have been united. we, for many parts of the world, by our confidence in democracy.
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as i go forward with my countrymen and women, along the difficult path of building a truly democratic society where all our people can live together in peace remember always that burma is a nation of many ethnic nationalities and people. we believe that we can go forward in unity and in peace, and give ourselves the satisfaction of helping us to get to the place where all people wish to get to, the place where dreams are realized. thank you. [applause]
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[applause] ladies and gentlemen, the chaplain of the united states senate, dr. barry black, for the benediction.
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>> let us pray. god's glory fills the skies, triumph over the shades of nig night. lord, thank you for this congressional gold medal ceremony, and the opportunity we have had to honor a woman of excellence, daw aung san suu kyi. we praise you for her passion, for freedom, for her willingness to sacrifice for truth, and for her courage to clean to her convictions. may her compassion, courage, and confidence challenges us when we
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are too will pleased with ourselves. when our dreams come true, simply because we have dreamed too little. may her sacrifice, daring, and persistence inspire us to rise to the challenge of the needs of our world, and to do it by making new commitments, followed by faithful service to you, and humankind. lowered, make us -- lord, make us strong and your strength, and lead us into a future, fueled by faith, focus, and fortitude. we pray in your sovereign

U.S. Senate
CSPAN January 2, 2013 9:00am-12:00pm EST


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